Saturday, December 3, 2022

Color Your World ~ Viva Magenta, Pantone's Color of the Year Takes Its Inspiration from Nature ~ Beetles & Flowers, Oh My!


Panotone’s Color of the Year is Viva Magenta. Welcome to the Magentaverse.

I love this bold, kinetic color.  How could you not? It's rich and nuanced and irresistible.

Pantone’s Color of the Year, Viva Magenta 18-1750, vibrates with vim and vigor. It is a shade rooted in nature descending from the red family and expressive of a new signal of strength. 

See how Viva Magenta takes its inspiration from Nature.

“Viva Magenta is brave and fearless, and a pulsating color whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative,” says Pantone. 

“This year’s Color of the Year is powerful and empowering. It is a new animated red that revels in pure joy, encouraging experimentation and self-expression without restraint, an electrifying, and a boundaryless shade that is manifesting as a stand-out statement. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta welcomes anyone and everyone with the same verve for life and rebellious spirit. It is a color that is audacious, full of wit and inclusive of all.” 

According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute, “In this age of technology, we look to draw inspiration from nature and what is real. PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta descends from the red family, and is inspired by the red of cochineal, one of the most precious dyes belonging to the natural dye family as well as one of the strongest and brightest the world has known.

Rooted in the primordial, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta reconnects us to original matter. Invoking the forces of nature, PANTONE 18-1750 Viva Magenta galvanizes our spirit, helping us to build our inner strength.”

Cochineal Red: How Bugs Created One of the World's Most Expensive Colors

Those cochineals really get around ~ especially for a beetle.  

Yes, this is the same cochineal that was used in the original Compari ~ until Americans got the ewwww vibe about drinking the naturally-colored red spirit. 

Now, when I make my Negronis, I purchase the tastiest Apertivo from the Colorado-based company Leopold Brothers, who use the real deal. No artificial coloring. Along with their fresh, bright, flowering botanicals, the bitterness, sweetness and citrus their recipe blend is the tops. I highly recommend it. 

The folks at Leopold note: “We color the cordial with natural cochineal, which adds the vibrant red color that one expects from a traditional Aperitivo as it has been used in spirits for hundreds of years. 

Cochineal is a completely natural scarlet dye made from crushed insect, ethically sourced from South America.”

Leopold Bros. Aperitivo

And our little beetle has also been noted as the first, organic lipstick. 

According to the Bottega Projects blog: “Cochineal are insects that live on the Nopal cacti originally in Mexico. Used mostly as a fabric dye, it was imported to Europe in the 16th century and also used for painting.” 

Cochineal red dye Stock Photos and Images | agefotostock

So you can see, our little red beetlejuice has a very artful pedigree and history. 

Nature’s Magentaverse 

Yesterday, while cutting back the spent annuals from the garden pots, I noticed the Magenta Hellebores or Christmas rose (Helleborus niger) had bloomed. Was it just in time to celebrate the Pantone announcement?! 

I want to think that my gorgeous winter blooms want to be part of the Magentarverse celebration. 

If you want to grow this carefree beauty, you can purchase it quite readily from your local nursery or grow from seed.  The plant is a member of the Ranunculaceae plant family and a close relative of Lenten rose. Both have lovely evergreen leaves. 

As with most all plants, its original use was as a medicine. It was even a cure for insanity! And more commonly, as a purge to remedy a variety of stuff that was nasty.  It was a key ingredient in the “elixir of life” developed in the 15th Century. 

I’ve always loved the plant mythology related to these glamorous blossoms. Do you know of their myth?  

I encourage you to use this bold, exciting color in the garden. It pairs very well with blues, purples, reds, and of course, green.

The Pulse of Viva Magenta.

And well, while I greeted the news of the Pantone announcement yesterday morning while reading the news in bed, when I swung my tootsies around to start my morning ablutions ~ there it was: No denying that my toenail art was part of the Magentarverse!  I’m trending!  Ha. 

This could be some of that wit that Pantone referred to ~ or maybe not…  

Congratulations to Pantone. Brilliant color choice to celebrate life and the inspiration that Nature always provides.  

I’ll add: Let’s please take care to be good stewards of Nature so that we can continue to be inspired by her….

Garden Glamour and stewardship, and sustainability is always in style…


  1. What a beautiful color. I will try putting some in my garden in the spring. Thanks for all the information.

    1. Thank you for your enthusiasm ~ adding the color Viva Magenta to your garden will surely bring you great joy. You could pair it with blue and yellow for a lovely Mediterranean look. Happy Gardening.

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